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Monday, June 24, 2024

Omaha Invests $54 Million to Become National Youth Sports Destination

  • Omaha expects its upgraded, multisport complex to generate $78 million in annual visitor spending.
  • Organizers expect the revamped complex to draw at least 20 new youth sports events per year to Omaha.
Omaha expects its upgraded complex to bring $78 million per year in visitor spending.
Courtesy of Tranquility Commons & Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture

The longtime home of the NCAA’s College World Series baseball tournament is investing in becoming a premier destination for youth sports.

The city of Omaha, Nebraska, will give $54 million toward revitalizing Tranquility Park, a public complex managed by Omaha Parks and Recreation Department that was built 50 years ago and currently hosts 17 soccer fields and eight natural turf baseball fields. Its makeover includes plans for 13-to-16 new synthetic turf multipurpose flat fields, eight-to-11 synthetic turf baseball/softball fields, and improved parking and concessions.

Renovations also include new hotels, restaurants, and retail shops added to the area surrounding the multisport complex, which will draw teams “from all Omaha neighborhoods and around the country,” per Omaha Parks and Recreation Director Matt Kalcevich.

“The Tranquility project is a real game changer. When complete, the updated playing fields will give us the opportunity to attract at least 20 new regional and national youth sporting events to our city,” sad Deborah Ward, Visit Omaha executive director. 

The city expects to generate $78 million in visitor spending each year via youth sports tournaments hosted at the renovated Tranquility Park. Construction on the soccer fields will be completed by 2024, the baseball and softball field improvements will begin in 2026, and the entire project is expected to be completed by 2027.

About 300,000 fans are expected to visit Omaha during this year’s College World Series. The 2019 tournament had an economic impact of $88.3 million. 
Omaha is the latest area to invest heavily in attempts to become a travel destination for youth sports tournaments, following major multimillion-dollar efforts in Indiana, Louisiana, and Iowa.

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